Choosing a journal

When considering a publication venue, there are a few factors that you may want to consider.

Peer Review

Check the journal's website to verify its peer review policy. Is it open? blind? double-blind? Does it guarantee timely review?

Timeliness

Frequency: how many numbers are issued every year?

Speed: what would be an acceptable turnaround time in your discipline? Does it offer an online first or online advance posting of your article after peer review and before formal publication?

Topic relevance and writing style

Does your article fit in with the journal's aim and scope? Sample previous issues to get an idea of the type of articles that are published. Does the journal mainly publish applied, clinical or basic research? If yours is a review article, does it publish these? Do the titles appear in the results of a literature review on your topic?

Indexing and abstracting

Is the journal indexed in major databases in your field (Scopus, Ebsco, etc.)? This will have an impact on your article's discoverability. Search Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory to see where the journals you are considering are indexed.

Impact factors and journal rankings

See our section on measuring research impact.

Copyright

Do the terms of the publisher's copyright or licensing agreements allow you to use your work in the ways you would like to? See our section on negotiating copyright for more information.

Accessibility

Is the journal widely available? Consider the subscription cost of the journal (sometimes listed in Ulrich'sWeb or on the publisher's website). Who would be able to afford access? Is it Open Access?

Find the journal's cost-effectiveness using the Journal Cost-Effectiveness Search tool.

Increasing your odds

  • Read previous issues.
  • Check acceptance rates.
  • Send a query letter.
  • Follow author guidelines and match style.
  • Aim for high impact or top tier first.
  • Ask colleagues to review your work.
  • Submit to theme or special issues.

Tools for authors

Keyword matching tools can help new researchers or researchers in multidisciplinary fields discover potential journals in which to publish.

Jane - Journal/Author Name Estimator »
Enter the title and/or abstract of the paper in the box, and click on 'Find journals', 'Find authors' or 'Find Articles'. Jane will then compare your document to millions of documents in Medline to find the best matching journals, authors or articles.

Elsevier's Journal Finder (BETA) »
Authors enter their paper title, abstract and/or keywords and the tool creates a matching list of Elsevier journals. You can order the results based on your priorities, such as highest impact factor or shortest editorial time.

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